Why Information Matters

IDENTIFY why information is important to individuals… and to civil society

When people know what is happening, they are better equipped to make all the decisions of their lives: where to live, what school to go to, where to work, who to vote for.

  • Class discussion: What kind of information is important to you? What would you not be able to do if you had no way of getting information from other people or other places?
  • Class discussion: What does your community need or want to know about right “now”? What matters to your community: it may be government laws, but your community might also care about sports, food, housing and use of land, family connections, health, transportation, etc.
  • Student exercise: Go to a place in your community where people gather—it may be a street corner, a restaurant, a playground, etc. Make a list of information that you could get at those places that you either need or would like to have. Order the list in terms of its importance to you.
  • Follow-up exercise: What are the differences between “my” information needs and my family’s needs? What do adults need to know that is different than what children and teenagers need to know? What kind information do different jobs demand? Do some jobs demand more information–or just different kinds of information? What kinds of jobs need information about what has just happened and what kinds of jobs need information that stays the same over time.
  • Class discussion: What does it mean to be a citizen and be involved in a community? How does information not only keep us informed but help us to be responsible citizens?